150km west of Berlin, near the village of
Poppau in the Altmark. Here Germany’s
youngest village, “Sieben Linden“ has come into
existence over the last decade. The community
numbers 43 women, 35 men and 33 children.
Its priorities are ecology, holistic communal
culture, self-administration and self-sufficiency.
A place with everything that humans have ever required: nature, movement,
interesting challenges, adventure. You want to do a thousand
things at once, face countless interesting problems, discuss matters
with people and further important political, cultural or artistic aims.
Everything seems possible, you’re torn between possiblitlies. But where,
then, is the time for contemplation, the time for yourself and your
family Is it really so difficult to change the conditioned virtues and
values dictating industriousness, performance and success But nonetheless,
the inhabitants recognise their weaknesses as challenges and
thus are in a position to change themselves and their surroundings for
the better. Such initiatives are ever more common around the world,
be they new settlements, transformed villages or town projects. People
can take control of things themselves without waiting for “the powers
that be” to implement change – and it is precisely this which makes
this process so exciting.
Andi Stiglmayr, director
‘If I ask myself: „What do I really want What is my dream“
And if I pursue that relentlessly and earnestly, ignoring all else and following
my yearnings, then I am going my proper way. A way with which I
can retreat from all of society‘s misadventures. Because things are good
here.Germans need only decide to live differently,and they can do so. The
system doesn‘t stop us.’
Silke Hagmaier, Co-founder
After „Bavarian Rebel“
the new film by Andi Stiglmayr.
A documentary about a small village
originating from the dreams of its inhabitants.
A place where dreams become reality.
D 2007 | 88 minutes | Music André Feldhaus
“... Instead of shedding a little light on everything, trying to show a
few pictures of many inhabitants and processing figures and data, he
gives the viewer the opportunity of submerging himself in the lives of
two inhabitants. This kind of documentary was common in the sixties,
and could even be seen on television. You don’t just sit there, waiting
to see what happens next but let things take their course. This is
both more relaxing and more diverting. Stiglmayr observes instead of
“His gaze shows the many human components of co-existence. In keeping
with “Der Bayerische Rebell” about the idiosyncratic chansonnier
Hans Söllner, Stiglmayr is again presenting a fascinating documenatry
about the possibilities of following different ways of life.”
Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung
Kindly supported by:
Flyer design: André Rösler Photos: Andi Stiglmayr
Printed on 100% recycling paper
‘It looks terrible, if you look at the gardens and so on.
It‘s full of weeds.
It‘s like how gypsies lived. That‘s how they live.’
What happens when more than a hundred
people come together and change their lives
In search of future-compatible social models, film maker Andi Stiglmayr came
across the ten-year old Sieben Linden model settlement in the Altmark 150
kilometres west of Berlin. There 120 people have joined in founding various
neighbourhoods and are attempting to interconnect the various fields of
human life such as leisure, communication, healing, education, economics,
ecology and culture.
In 1997 BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) published its “A Germany
Viable for the Future” study. It is a contribution to global sustainability. The
protagonists apply aspects of this study in their daily lives. Sieben Linden is
the attempt of living the good life without owning much and without having
to go back to the Stone Age. The contradictions this throws up are not a
downfall but the perspective of a viable future
www.bund.net, the film’s partner at the national Film festival
‘I have material concerns. My pre-pension work programme runs out next
year.I don‘t know what will happen then. But what counts is not submitting
to anxiety,but enjoying the present. You know, this meadow, these
poles, the birds that fly by, and, thinking: thank you,it‘s great, I really
feel at home here, I feel blessed.’
Henning Müller, village dweller
View from outside
‘I‘d imagined it differently, like... well, you know... outdoor loos and,
all in all very primitive. It‘s a shame that there are so few colours and
that the wood is so pale, but life here must be calmer, less stressful.
Where we live, people are uptight, and envy their neighbours, but here
there‘s no need to. I wouldn‘t mind manual work, and if everyone works
and pulls together, then it‘s fun, too and you‘re proud of your own
‘Lots of people yearn for a life like this: They feel that something‘s missing
but don‘t know what. They recognise there must be alternative life
forms besides family, couple and single existences. But society doesn‘t
offer them. This has economic reasons: Industry prefers one man, one
lawnmower, to a 200-man group sharing one mower.’
Martin Goldstein, Project advisor